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tv   Washington Journal Diane Yentel  CSPAN  March 25, 2020 10:06am-10:43am EDT

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through these dark economic times. i've yield the floor. >> today the white house coronavirus task force provides an update on the outbreak and the federal government response. watch live at 5 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> follow the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak@c-span.org/coronavirus. watch congress, white house briefings and updates from governors. track the spread throughout the u.s. and the world with interactive maps. watch on-demand anytime unfiltered at c-span.org/coronavirus. >> diane yentel is ceo of the national low income housing coalition you to talk about low income housing. canea you estimate if you can tl how many economic distressed low
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income homeowners and renters there are in america? >> guest: sure. at the national low income housing coalition will look at extremely low income renters and their housing needs, and we know that nationally we have shortage of 7 million homes, affordable and available to the lowest income people. another way of saying that same number is for every 100 of the lowest income renters, seniors, people with disabilities, others, 3100, there are 36 homes affordable and available to them. so because of this shortage of homes for the lowest income people, there are over 8 million extremely low income households who are paying more than half of the income towards rent. many of them are pink 50, 60, 70% of income every month just to keep a a roof over their he. when you're such limited income to begin with, it is more a
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financial emergency away from not being able to pay the rent than facing potential eviction or homelessness. for many of these families, coronavirus will be that financial emergency. theyha are losing hours at work. they are losing their jobs. or they're getting sick and they can't ship up to work. there are millions of families who are right on the cusp of potentiallypo homelessness, and there are over happening people in american who are literally homeless. they are sleeping in shelters. they are sleeping in tents, , in encampments come in their cars or in an rv. >> host: just to give our viewers more numbers from your organization on what you're talkingg about, 43.7 million total renter households in the united states, nearly 11 million have incomes at or below the poverty level, or 30% of the
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area median income. 46%% of seniors or a household with a disability. 37% are in labor force. of these 43% usually work 40 plus hours per week. my question is, will this $1200 check that the government is poised to pass for every adult american help these people? >> guest: well, there will be some help there but it is certainly not enough, but there's more in the package that andress has negotiated hopefully will pass that can help some of the extremely low range of people, people are homeless. especially when you look at the population who is experiencing homelessness. they are very vulnerable to the illness, to getting very sick from the illness and potentially even dying, and to potentially spreading the illness because when you are homeless and your
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sleeping in a homeless shelter or in aner encampment, you're living and really close quarters and you don't have the ability to self isolate or self quarantine if needed. it's just another reminder of how housing is healthcare, and especially when our collective health depends on our ability to stay home. if there are people who are not housed, we are not able to contain this pandemic. the good news is in the bill that congress has negotiated, there are some significant resources that can go to homeless shelter providers and homeless outreach workers to help them change the way their shelters work so that they can allow people to social distance and isolate if needed, but more importantly to work towards getting people who are homeless into affordable homes. there is notis enough in the package to do that part of it,
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but there's some. it's a start. we will need to work with congress to get more to make sure everybody is stably house during this pandemic. >> host: according to your group there are also other urgent need for income renters. moratorium on evictions of foreclosures, rental assistance and eviction prevention, emergency funds for public housing and other housing provider, access to legal services of foreclosure and eviction crisis counseling. have you seen any of those needs be met either by the administration with an executive order or with what congress is proposing? >> guest: there's a little bit, i did not enough. were not there yet in the agreement either in congress ore at the state and local level but that is some momentum i would say towards these solutions. when we talk about a moratorium on eviction of foreclosure this is crucial. but in america, although should be shared that if there safely
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and affordably house now we're not going to lose our home during this health emergency. there needsds to be a uniform public, a uniform federalal poly that can give that assurance to a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. that's not in the final package that congress is about to pass. there are about a dozen states and two dozen cities who aren't their own past these types of moratoriums, whether on evictions or foreclosure, , and that's a good start butct it's t enough. there's also a fha, fannie mae,, freddie mac, andnd also intimatd foreclosure moratoriums. when it comes to fhfa's it took another step forward and said no to get mortgage forbearance for properties that of it mortgages that are backed by fannie or freddie, they first have to commit to not evicting any tenant in their properties. so there are some protections
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that are starting to be put out there for renters, for low income homeowners, but we need more to assure everybody that they will not lose their home. the rental assistant piece is critical and it's critical that it be tied with eviction moratoriums. that's because we want to make sure at the end of this crisis, when these moratoriums are lifted we want to make sure low income renters don't have a cliff they're going to fall off of in in terms of the back rent that is owed. so we don't want low income renters at the end of this to find they are saddled even more with the debt. and at the same time small property owners, small landlords can continue to make it up with the units that they don't income coming in. we also want -- don't want to end the crisis have lost before the housing sucked in this country. we have to provide tens of billions of dollars in rental assistant to which we keep the
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affordable health stock that exist that we protect low-income renters from increased debt. there's a small amount of included in this federal bill that will be passed soon but there's other pots of money that can be used for the same purpose through disaster funds potentially, and we have much more to go. we will continue to work and push congress to do more. >> host: we're talking about the coronavirus impact on housing and homelessness in this country. we have divided the lines -- before we get to your calls come some breaking news on cnn. princece charles, the queens sun and first in line to the british throne, has tested positive for coronavirus. cori in denver, colorado, your question or comment about this issue. >> caller: i have a couple.
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thank you for being on, thank you for c-span. i am currently, i just actually a first-time homebuyer. i bought my first house. i close on the 21st, the day that the market crashed. so i'm curious about how you see housing prices persisting throughout this whole process. secondarily, i'm fortunate enough to be able to cover my mortgage for a while, but he guess i'm curious, in order to encourage people to stay home, and to accommodate the economic issues, why can we not just freeze everything for say two months, freeze all rent, freeze all mortgage payments, i know that would cause a huge cascade of issues that i'm sure i'm not thinking about, but has that been considered? and realistically what would that look like. thank you very much. >> guest: that's a great
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question. rent freezes are part of the conversation, and there are some communities in california where i believe there was one city yesterday or county that either put forward the proposal too hae a rate freeze or even may have passed it. things are moving so quickly it's hard to keep up with all the state and local changes that areen happening. you're actually right there's a lot of people who are in your situation right now who, whether they're first-time homebuyers, new homebuyers or longtime homeowners, who are worried now about how they're going to be able to pay their mortgage, especially if you are at risk of losing work hours because of the shutdowns in cities or if you're losing a job for the same reason. people are getting sick family and areare getting sick having to lose work hours.
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all of this is a reason why we are pushinglo so hard to give bh the renters and homeowners and assurance that they can keep their homes during this emergency, and they won't be saddled with debt as a result of when this crisis inns. re under t will give some of that assurance. some of it is at the state and local level, where they are passing moratoriums on any kind of foreclosures or mortgage forbearance. provisions ofr the bill being considered in congress on the income side. part of the reason people are concerned they may not be able to pay rent or mortgage is they might have lowered salaries, lowered incomes. congress has been working to
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expand unemployment insurance. i do not know the full details of what is in the final deal just announced. i know that the democrats were certainly pushing hard and republicans were agreeing that there needs to be significantly expanded unemployment insurance that would cover all workers, including workers in the gig economy or self-employed people and would provide full salaries for up to four months. again, giving some assurance to people that, even if there is not specific programs or funding coming in on rental assistance or mortgage assistance, that people who have jobs now, whether or not they keep those jobs, they would maintain that income for a period of time to get us through that crisis. correct that it seems, according to reporting by the hill and politico this morning, that they have agreed to four months of unemployment insurance.
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.e will see what else we have to wait to see the details behind that, but it does appear they have agreed to that. do you have a thought on that? guest: that is significant. that will certainly help people who would be at risk of losing hours or having income go down as a result of the crisis. when it does not do is help the , --le who are already before coronavirus, we had 8 million households that were already low income. many are already working, multiple jobs, even low-wage jobs, and they are barely able to make ends meet. it does not help those households that are on the cusp of homelessness even before coronavirus happened. host: shall be a homeowner. -- shelby, a homeowner. diane, fornk you,
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your work, and also c-span. i would like to comment on the retirees that have worked hard all their life trying to make ends meet. the so-called increase in our -- the amount on it don't hardly come over $10 plus on your income, which is to me laughable. i do not know if they think we are uneducated and do not realize it, but i did. i compared. i am trying to consider thinking what kind of job extra could i orwith my health condition
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what my ability can be to make ats meet, to do things here the home that needs repairs that i do not have the money for. it is sad. couple years back with human services. -- it is so laughable. to get any help, you cannot make over $1250 a month to get any help. that is ridiculous. take any income from social security because i do not even fileh now to taxes. i used to work all my life. my spouse passed away. i do not have that income.
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the -- i used to make good money and was fine. i considered myself middle-class, but now i am in a low class income rocket. host: i'm going to have diane yentel respond. your sharingeciate your story. you are not alone. certainly a lot lots of seniors across the country are struggling with their health care needs and housing costs. segmentbig part of the of the population that we focus on, especially when we look at people who are extremely low income. there are about half of the households are seniors or people with disabilities. the other half are mostly working but working low-wage
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jobs and the kind of jobs where it is difficult to cobble together enough hours in the week to make ends meet. the challenges are real. people are struggling to be able to afford to pay their rent every month or to pay their mortgage in the case of homeowners. they are having to resort to impossible choices between paying the rent or buying the medication they need or paying for the books their child needs for school or keeping a roof over their heads. these are impossible choices that nobody should have to make, especially in a country as wealthy as ours. it is why we push so hard to increase the solutions, to increase funding for solutions to make homes affordable for everybody, especially targeting resources toward those most in need, which are the lowest income people, including
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seniors, people with disabilities, and low-wage workers. cnn is interviewing the minority leader, chuck schumer, democratic reader of new york. the senatororting saying the checks included for americans in this legislation, the $1200 checks, he expects they could be out by april 6. diane yentel, do you have thoughts on how that turnaround? does that help? guest: it is important. rent is due april 1 for many millions of people across the country who are, like our last caller, wondering how they are going to pay that rent or their mortgage. some cash and people's -- in people's pockets quickly will help. it will not be enough to meet all of the needs that this virus, this illness is creating in our country.
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the struggles at the lowest -- that the lowest income people are facing as a result. billther resources in this , we need to make sure they get out as quickly as possible to local communities. i am thinking especially of the $4 million that will be appropriated for emergency solutions that goes to homeless shelter providers and outreach workers. these are front-line workers who are doing incredibly challenging work with overwhelming demands. they are on the front lines but without any of the equipment that doctors and nurses have to keep them safe. the homeless outreach workers who do not have hand sanitizer, much less gloves or masks. or you have shelter providers who have people experiencing homelessness in their shelter a confirmed positive
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with coronavirus and they do not have the ability to isolate them from others in the shelter. resources for these communities are badly needed to allow shelter providers to lease hotel rooms, to put people into apartments, to even build out new wings or put up structures that allow them to separate people within their shelter so they can implement social distancing and keep people safe if they are -- if they contract the disease or are in contact with someone who is. .hose $4 million are needed once this bill is signed by the president, we need to work with hud and make sure those dollars get to as quickly as possible so they can put them to who are homeless see from this disease. rouge,let's go to baton
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louisiana. mickey, you are a renter. caller: yes, ma'am. host: go ahead. the situation we are presidentugh, for the doing what we need to be situation.ck to my i am a renter. , two bedrooms.se struggle to pay the rest of the bills and eat at the same time.
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they are going to put $1 billion for americans to survive. every american, $1 billion. spend -- taketo care of their business. anybody who needs to work got to work. host: ok, mickey. muffled.st a little i cannot hear some of the details of what you're saying, but what i got from that is you are struggling despite working. you're struggling to pay the rent because rent is too high and your income is too low. you are not alone. there are millions of families who are in a similar situation nationally. before coronavirus came to our country, we had a significant housing crisis that we were facing. a policyn our country
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where only one in every four households who is eligible for housing assistance and needs it gets any. like mickey or others who are working hard but have low incomes and cannot afford rent get no housing assistance at all. they are having to wait in line and add their names to waiting lists that are years or decades long. it is essentially a housing lottery system and it is wrong. asecially in a country wealthy as ours, it is wrong. the good news is we have a solution to the housing crisis. we have proven solutions to ending homelessness and poverty. programs like the housing choice voucher program or the housing
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trust program. the problem is we do not fund these solutions at the scale necessary to meet the need. is more than ever, when it clearer than ever that housing is health care, we have to start funding these solutions. everybody is safely and affordably housed. good morning, host: host: -- roger, tampa, florida. good morning, roger. caller: the number of coronavirus in russia is not believable. they seem to be too low. about a caseard count density of it in mexico, which is right beside america. numberse any accurate about how serious this is in mexico? it does not look serious on the
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maps. our mexicans coming with or without the virus going to be housed in america as immigrants during the current period? to thei cannot speak accuracy of numbers from russia or mexico for coronavirus. i look to the cdc for accurate numbers. i cannot speak to those numbers. before thehat, even thisavirus occurred we had significant shortage of homes affordable for the lowest income people. now more than ever, we need to ever we need to fund the solutions. when we look at the solutions congress is considering related to coronavirus, housing or health or food assistance, we have to ensure that those resources are available to
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everybody, regardless of their immigration status, regardless of whether they have liveilities, whether they in tribal communities. we have to ensure that everybody has access to these resources, because the virus is not discriminating. we aren't able to make sure the virus only impacts, say, documented immigrants. it is impacting undocumented immigrants as well. our collective health demands we ensure that everybody in the country get the resources they need to stay healthy and stay can so that as a country we recover from this crisis. host: we have a text from a viewer, pete in south bend
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indiana. i haven't heard anything about relief for seniors and disabled people barely making it on social security income. are there any provisions in the bill for them? there are. i think the cash assistance will be going to everybody. for the housing assistance, that is where it comes back to the need for more, frankly. there is money in the supplemental for what is called community development block grants. that will go to local cities and counties to do a whole host of things. one thing they can do with those dollars is provide rental whether it is-- people who are currently homeless, seniors or people with ,isabilities who are homeless or struggling to pay their rent could get assistance from there. there is also in the whatemental $30 billion in is called disaster relief funds.
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that adds to the $40 billion already in that pot. that is very flexible funds that can go to states and cities to use for a whole variety of purposes, including rental and thece, potentially, for of structures needed people who are homeless or doubled up or overcrowded in their housing to separate out and self-isolate when needed. harper's bill,n new york. a homeowner. caller: hello? host: you are on the air. go ahead. caller: i have a big problem. homeowner. i have been homeless several times. now.a homeowner the only reason i am a homeowner
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now is because my mother gave me the home because she died, ok? i am on disability. i get very little bit of money. i get food stamps. i'm not making it. i am not making it. taxes that you have to pay, the rent you have to pay, stuff like that are too hig h. they go up every year. people are getting murdered by it. you spokee yentel, about this earlier, but if you could repeat what you said. guest: again, you are an
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important example of why it is so important during this pandemic we ensure that people who are in homes stay in those homes. this is why we need to make sure moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions. we cannot risk having people lose their homes and add to the number of people who are homeless during a public health emergency. it is also an example of why we need more assistance to people who are struggling to afford their homes. aree are many people who seniors or people with disabilities on fixed income. their incomes are not going to go up but the rent keeps going up. they need assistance to stay housed. there are millions of people who are working very low wage jobs. the kinds of jobs that do not keep up with the rising cost of
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rent. when it comes to jobs and incomes and people struggling to pay the rent, we know that will be a challenge for the foreseeable future. the department of labor projects the jobs that will have the greatest growth. seven out of 10 pay less than what it costs to rent a one bedroom apartment. these challenges existed before the coronavirus came along. they are more acute and urgent now, but we have solutions to challenges. we are not funding the solutions to the scale necessarily and it is time congress started doing that to keep people affordably housed. especially now. host: mike, a homeowner. caller: yes, good morning. host: good morning. caller: my question is, i am a homeowner. ihave two small apartments
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rent. i am concerned these people -- they work for construction. could be taken away because of this. not because they are sick, just because of the economy falling down. my concern is how i am going to protect myself, being a landlord, and moratoriums, and that type of thing -- all this talk is about $1200. is this monthly or a one-time shot? >> the $1200 i believe is a one time deal. it will also be pretty enhanced extendedded and unemployment insurance. all people, i don't have the details in front of me, but i know they were working towards gigring all workers, in the
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economy, self-employed, or other ise would get four months of full salary that would ensure people who can currently pay the rent will continue to. what you've raised is a really good example of why, when we are talking about the need for moratoriums on evictions, which we have to have, it has to be paired with significant rental assistance. that is because small landlords like yourself and others cannot afford to continue maintaining and operating the rental units without income coming in for rent. if it is not coming in for the individual because they lost perhaps theand unemployment insurance doesn't cover them, we have to ensure there is rental assistance.
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that is not just to assist small landlords to make sure we are losing precious little affordable housing stocks through the crisis, but to ensure low income renters don't end the crisis with more debt in terms of back rent that now needs to be paid when the lifted.ums are we don't want to create a cliff that low income renters fall off of. it is a very important point that we have been pushing. when there are moratoriums on evictions, we have to make sure there is rental assistance as well. learnif yours want to more they can go to the task force provides an update on the outbreak and the federal governments response to watch live at 5 p.m. eastern on
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c-span. >> follow the federal response to the the coronavirus outbreak@c-span.org/coronavirus. watch congress, the whitest briefings and updates from governors. track the spread throughout the u.s. in the world with interactive maps. watch on demand any time unfiltered at c-span.org/coronavirus. >> this week will a booktv program showcasing what's available every weekend on c-span2. tonight we focus on science. >> the u.s. senate will be back
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in session at noon eastern to complete work on the third coronavirus economic stimulus plan which will expand unemployment benefits, provide cash payments to taxpayers, fund hospitals and state and local governments and offer small business grants and big business loans. a final vote is expected today. last night senate leaders came to the floor announcing their bipartisan agreement. here's a look. >> well, try to have an update for the information of all senators and for the information of the american people. and it's good news. it's good news for the doctors and nurses and emergency rooms around the country who are waiting for more masks, and more funding. it's good news for families all across america. and at last we have a deal. after days of intense discussions, the thin as reached a bipartisan agreement on a the stork

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